Winter is with us – and with it the re-introduction of restrictive Covid-19 measures – so this is a good time to take the necessary precautions in case of severe weather, power cuts or any other disruption that could affect daily routines.
The medical science indicates that the virus benefits from colder weather, so an extended lock-down in the months ahead could be very different from the first, which started in the early spring and with good weather and lighter evenings.
Please ensure you have all necessary medical contacts to hand and that you are aware of who to call if an emergency should arise. Also check that your medicine cabinet is fully equipped
All relevant emergency contact numbers and links can be found at the end of this article and on the village website, which also has details of the village shop hours and ordering service, which changed with the arrival of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Hambledon Parish Council has an Emergency Plan procedure in place in the event of harsh winter weather bringing disruption to the village.
However, there are many simple precautions villagers can take to make sure they can cope with cuts to power supplies and phone lines, a problem that has affected Hambledon in the recent past and usually caused by high winds or heavy snow.
If power fails so can household phones as many cannot function without electricity. As a safeguard, make sure you have a stand-by phone that does not need a power supply. The parish council has a small supply of such phones and if you require one please leave your details at the village shop.
Mobile phones lines can also fail during severe weather and it is worth remembering that the public phone box outside the village shop does not require electricity and will continue to work unless overhead lines have been brought down. Operator, reverse charge and 999 calls are free but you will need to use a bank card for all other calls.
Keep torches handy and make sure that you have a supply of batteries. A battery-operated radio will also come in useful for listening to local radio bulletins. Tune in to BBC Radio Surrey on 104.6FM and on DAB.
The village website will also carry updates at www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk.
Please keep an eye on your neighbours, particularly those living alone or infirm, especially during cold spells and weather-related disruption. Make yourself aware of anyone near you who is having to self-isolate and make contact with them regularly, if they agree.
If conditions are severe the Emergency Plan volunteers – some with 4-wheel drive vehicles – will do their best to assist with any individual issues as well as deal with general problems around the village such as fallen branches/snow blocking roads, paths and drives and maintaining contact with external agencies.
Please read on for emergency contact details. Please keep this to hand.
* Power Cut Helpline: 105 or 0800 3163 105
* Scottish and Southern Electricity (power cuts and emergencies): 0800 072 7282. Also visit www.ssepd.co.uk/powertrack for advice and information on specific power failures.
* National Gas helpline: 0800 111 999
* Flooding: 0345 988 1188 or 0845 988 1188. Environment Agency Hotline (when flooding is a threat to life or property) 0800 80 70 60 and/or 999
* Roads flooding (major roads only): Emergency – 0300 123 5000 or report to Surrey County Council.
* Surrey County Council (for on-line updates and advice): www.surreycc.gov.uk/winter
* Waverley Borough Council: Visit the council website at www.waverley.gov.uk to look for updates on local services, including refuse collections. Or ring the switchboard on 01483 523333 during office hours and 01483 523200 for out-of-hours emergencies. Updates can be found at www.twitter.com/waverleybc.
* NHS: 111 for non-life threatening emergency help and advice.
* Emergency Services: 999 in an emergency and 101 for non-emergencies.
This website carries live rail travel information and local weather reports. Please follow the links from the Home menu.
In the village the Hambledon Emergency Team volunteer co-ordinators are Stewart Payne on 07831 393561 and Mike Parry on 07765 242740, assisted by Arthur Frearson on 01428 683812 or 01252 722973, Tim Coleman on 07838 763767 and Nick Watson on 07770 553686.
In the event of severe disruption, the volunteers will endeavour to be out-and-about in the village in four-wheel drive vehicles, centred on the village shop.